Back

Former Semipalatinsk nuclear test ground.

Another legacy of the Cold War, former Semipalatinsk nuclear test ground nowadays operates in peaceful mode. Here we will visit the museum of nuclear technology and learn about nuclear industry of former USSR and history of Soviet nuclear weapon development. Exponents are really amazing by their technical advance, power of nuclear energy and thoughtfulness. Next point is Ground Zero, the center of the first nuclear test. Now, 70 years after first explosion and numerous recultivation, it is safe to visit. Nearby we will see facilities that were used to measure various parameters of an explosion. The same day we go to abandoned long-range aviation aerodrome, where strategic bombers were based. Next to it military town is placed, which was in use till 1994, when Russian units had left it. The next day we will visit Atomic lake, an artificial one created by nuclear explosion. Just try to compare with any sea, usually their depth is around 30 meters and more. But this lake is 180 meters deep, in the midst of land-locked area, deeper than many seas!! Come and witness all of these wonders!!




Museum of nuclear technology presents artifacts and documents from very early years of Semipalatinsk nuclear test ground up to its closure. Most of items are very impressive: red button (literally) that started each explosion, high-speed photo camera (100 000 frames per second), tissues of tested animals. The institute of nuclear research was established in Y1943, as soon as it was clear that USA was going to have nuclear bomb. Using all possible means, USSR managed to test the first bomb in Y1949, but for three decades longer USA had been leading nuclear arms race and in the field of long-range delivery. Museum also tells about industrial nuclear explosions, which were numerous.

Ground Zero is the epicenter of the first Soviet nuclear test. 70 years after explosion and after several recultivation cicles it is safe to visit this place. We will visit the very epicenter and see the crater of it, visit facilites that were used to measure shockwave, radiation, electromagnetic emission, buidings, bridges - and learn about whole test process.

After the biggest nuclear players signed a convention about prohibition of nuclear test in three mediums, nuclear tests went underground. Both USA and USSR trie to use nuclear bombs for industrial aims. USSR used them for different goals: imitation of seismic activity, stopping underground fire, geologic research and study etc. One of more illustrative examples is Atomic lake. Because of very dry climate any agriculture in Kazakhstan was very difficult. Now, at the confluence of two rivers it was decided to create new lake as a water reservoir for droughty years. At the level -178 meters nuclear charge was exploded, which resulted in a huge crater, 500 meters in diameter and 180 meters deep, almost ideal circle shape. On the spot we will learn more about this lake and its history (at some moments funny) and visit the bunker, where literally red button was pressed.